Mosi Ifatunji

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill


Mosi Ifatunji is a 2013-2014 Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Center for Institutional Diversity and the Institute for Social Research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He has deferred his faculty appointment in the Department of Sociology at UNC Chapel Hill in order to pursue his interests in race, culture, and social stratification, as part of the NCID Diversity Research and Policy Program. Dr. Ifatunji studies what he calls, the 'black ethnic comparative' or various comparisons between African Americans and black immigrants. The utility of this comparative is that it provides for a quasi-experimental design where 'racial phenotype' (i.e., skin color, hair texture, and bone structure) is held constant across different population groups, thus allowing for an examination of the degree to which various within-group attributes (e.g., human capital and cultural attributes) are responsible for both black ethnic disparities and social inequality more generally. This comparative also allows him to advance theory on 'racialization.' Recently, some have argued that the process of racialization includes non-physical features. Since the comparative holds racial phenotype constant across different populations, his research consolidates and tests the viability of this thinking by considering the degree to which the process of racialization is different across black ethnic groups. While on fellowship, he is conducting social experiments to further test for the role of 'perceived foreignness' in the process of racialization. He is also working closely with James Jackson, Director of ISR, on a project focused on black immigrant health in three different Western countries (the United States, Canada, and England). For more information, see